When to Take an Application to the Cloud: 5 Things to Think About
Whether or not you work in IT, you’ve likely heard the buzz around cloud computing -- or simply “the cloud,” as it’s often referred to. Over the past few years, various infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud computing providers such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have lowered prices, making taking your organization’s applications to the cloud more affordable than ever.
As a result, an increasing number of businesses have opted to make the switch from physical storage to cloud computing. But while there are certainly benefits to migrating your applications to the cloud, there are also challenges to address and potential downsides.
In a recent survey of more than 350 IT professionals and business leaders who had recently moved their applications to the cloud, only about 27% of respondents reported that they were highly satisfied with the process. Meanwhile, nearly half of them (43%) had either encountered delays during migration or characterized the process as a failure in its entirety.
Needless to say, you don’t want to end up in that 43%. But determining whether or not you should move a particular application to the cloud is about more than simply ensuring that the process is successful. Before you actually go down this road, it’s important to take stock of the specifics of your situation and assess whether or not the cloud is the right move for your organization.
Let’s take a quick look at what you ought to consider before making the move to the cloud.
1. Cloud Security
First off, you have to consider the security of your application once it’s been transitioned to the cloud.
How secure will the application be? On the one hand, this is a question of the security of the network that’s hosting your application. Amazon Web Services and Google have excellent reputations when it comes to security, but not all IaaS providers are in the same boat. Be sure to look into how secure the provider’s network is.
Aside from this, though, security is also a matter of determining whether you have backups and failsafes in place in the event of a crisis. Even the most reliable of IaaS providers can experience security issues. What will you do if there’s a problem? Having a plan in place is essential.
2. Network Issues
When it comes to cloud computing, it’s not just the state of the IaaS provider’s network that you have to consider. In addition, it’s important to think about your own network connection. After all, your organization’s computers have to maintain a stable internet connection in order to access applications on the cloud.
If your network connection goes down, what will you do? What’s the plan if you’re unable to access certain applications due to connectivity problems?
Some organizations think they’ll be able to cut corners and reduce expenses by moving to the cloud. While this can be true in certain situations, it’s not always the case. And while you may not need IT professionals overseeing your own server systems if you migrate to the cloud, you’ll still need employees overseeing the migration process itself as well as the day to day state of your applications and other storage on the cloud. Be sure you know who will be responsible for these tasks ahead of time.
4. Cost of Cloud Computing
As already mentioned above, the costs associated with cloud computing have declined in recent years. Regardless, though, there is still a cost associated with IaaS providers. These sorts of month-to-month pay plans are here to stay. And once you’ve migrated your data from your local network to the cloud, you’re essentially beholden to whatever fee structure your IaaS provider chooses to implement. Be sure to run the numbers ahead of time, as moving to the cloud won’t always result in cost savings.
5. Data in the Cloud
Moving an application from your local network to the cloud isn’t simply a matter of transferring some files. Rather, this process requires that you plan ahead and understand how the data contained in application is used. For example, applications often interact with one another in complex and varied ways. How will an application that you’ve migrated to the cloud interact with another app that you’re hosting locally? Will you experience difficulties when it comes to generating reports and extracting data from your cloud-based application? These are important considerations to take into account beforehand.
In the end, you may determine that moving to the cloud isn’t as practical or cost effective as you’d originally thought. Fortunately, expanding your current server system doesn’t have to be expensive. Integrity Global Solutions stocks a range of used and refurbished servers, hard drives, and more from leading brands like Cisco, HP, and Dell. Our hardware is priced affordably and undergoes rigorous testing to ensure that it meets your expectations. Click here to browse our full selection, or chat with us now for help.